Recent kwiples

Friday 31st of March 2023

<today's date> Available without prescription™ © 2015
Cold War 2.0 [L]oose talk of a US-China conflict is no longer far-fetched. Countries do not easily change their spots: China is the middle kingdom wanting  redress for the age of western humiliation; America is the dangerous nation seeking monsters to destroy. Both are playing to type. The question is whether global stability can survive either of them insisting that they must succeed. The likeliest alternative to today's US-China stand-off is not a kumbaya meeting-of-minds, but war. Edward Luce, Financial Times, March 8, 2023 © 2023
Environmentalism The findings from [Shanna] Swan and her colleagues [at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai] suggest that if we continue to use industrial chemicals at the current rates, we could plasticize and nonstick and flame-retard ourselves into a state of near sterility. Anna Louie Sussman,  New York Review of Books, September 23, 2021 © 2023
Expansionism I have no way to defend my borders but to expand them. Catherine the Great © 2023
Fascists say In 2016, I declared, “I am your voice.” Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution. Donald Trump, March 6, 2023 © 2023
Fox News Our job is not to provide news coverage. Not even close. Our job is to explain what things mean. Tucker Carlson, January 6, 2021,  to a Fox News colleague who expressed concern about the effects of lies about election fraud that Fox News hosts had repeatedly spread on air in the days leading up to January 6 © 2023
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019
Modernity The economy is to the moderns what the polis was to the Greeks: a way of being and appearing in the world, a place to do something “grand and beautiful and noble” that will be recognized now and remembered later. Corey Robin, New York Review of Books, December 8, 2022 © 2023
Politics One test of a civilised country is whether a citizen can go days at a time without thinking about politics. Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, February 14, 2023 © 2023
Power The recruiting of the functionaries from among the aristocracy was the fundamental vice of the Frankish Empire and the essential cause of its dissolution, which became so rapid after the death of Charlemagne. Surely, nothing is more fragile than that State the sovereign of which, all powerful in theory, is dependent in fact upon the fidelity of his independent agents. Henri Pirenne, Medieval Cities © 2023
Privacy A sex toy company called We-Vibe, for instance, obtains and stores data on when, how often, and at what speed individuals use its vibrators. Smart speakers like Amazon's Alexa record, store, and share private conversations with the company. Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, has been known to record (and send back to the company) the sounds of people having sex. Sue Halpern New York Review of Books, March 9, 2023 © 2023
Public discourse Several excuses are always less convincing than one. Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point © 2023
Punt returners say Depends. Mel Brooks responding to someone who asked him whether he wore long shorts or briefs  © 2023
Punt returners say I was in World War II and I didn’t see you there. Mel Brooks responding to an audience member at a preview of "The Producers," which shows Hitler sauntering and singing and dancing, who kept storming up the aisle and yelling, “How dare you have Hitler, how dare you have the swastika? I was in World War II risking my life and you do this on a stage?” [In the war, Brooks was a combat engineer whose job was to defuse land mines and clear boobytraps from buildings]  © 2023
Selfie I was in a car accident in 1992, and something took place that I've never been able to explain. For all intents and purposes, I was internally decapitated, and yet, I live, I breathe, I shop, I laugh, I get old, I walk the earth. Marlene Bourne © 2023
Selfie The Wind tells me I'm a ghost, but I don't believe it. Marlene Bourne © 2023
Selfie Yeah, I'm crazy. Crazy like a fox. Marlene Bourne, the "ghost woman" Fox News relied on as its source for claims of election fraud during the 2020 presidential election © 2023
Selfie I hate him passionately. Tucker Carlson on Donald Trump, but only off the air to his colleagues and never on the air, where he remains Fox's most popular Trump sycophant © 2023
Selfie I shall be an autocrat; that's my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that's his. Attributed to Catherine the Great © 2023
Statistics If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. Ronald H. Coase © 2023
Surely you jest I'm sure I've gotten a blow job from a guy before. … I don't know if it's gay unless you make eye contact while there's a blow job happening. Diplo [Thomas Wesley Pentz], who defines himself as “not not gay” © 2023
Thinking For 15 minutes, the team left participants alone in a lab room in which they could push a button and shock themselves if they wanted to. The results were startling:  Even though all participants had previously stated that they would pay money to avoid being shocked with electricity, 67% of men and 25% of women chose to inflict it on themselves rather than just sit there quietly and think. Science magazine, July 3, 2014 © 2023
Trumpists say [F]or the good of society … transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely. Michael J. Knowles © 2023
Trumpists say I don’t know how you could have a genocide of transgender people because genocide refers to genes, it refers to genetics, it refers to biology. And the whole point of transgenderism is that it has nothing to do with biology. Nobody's calling to exterminate anybody because the other problem with that statement is that transgender people is not a real ontological category. It’s not a legitimate category of being. Michael J. Knowles © 2023
Trumpists say What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change. He went golfing this weekend. It's not like he's plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20. He's tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he'll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he'll leave. An anonymous senior Republican official quoted by the Washington Post on November 10, 2020 © 2023
Trumpists say What's one way to get rid of a Supreme Court justice in order to get the kind of people that you want on it? Hunting. Marlene Bourne, the "ghost woman" Fox News relied on as its source for claims of election fraud during the 2020 presidential election, who believes Antonin Scalia was murdered as he was being hunted for sport during a weeklong human hunting expedition at the annual Bohemian Grove camp © 2023
Ukraine He [Putin] would have never done it. That's without even negotiating a deal. I could have negotiated. At worst, I could’ve made a deal to take over something, there are certain areas that are Russian-speaking areas, frankly, but you could’ve worked a deal. Donald Trump's peace-by-appeasing-Putin peace plan © 2023
Ukraine While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entan- gled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. … Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. Ron DeSantis, co-leader of MRGA Republicans © 2023